We are so excited to have started our research projects with the first Kilo ʻĀina student research cohort. We have 8 students in 4 different groups working on projects in geology, astronomy and oceanography.
Our two oceanography groups did their first field trip this week to get an idea of the project and the two sites along Puʻuloa they will be exploring in the next few weeks. One group (Makana and Sophie) went to Kapapapuhi Point Park on Wednesday,
while the other group (Marlon and Kelsey) went to Neal Blaisdell Park on Thursday. Both groups did some general observations on weather, general appearance, and species present, then collected some water quality data (temperature, salinity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity) and did a plankton tow. At both sites the tide was really low, so we were a little limited on what we could access from shore. However the students were able to get a first impression and learn how to use the equipment. They used a small fine-mesh plankton net (80 um) to sample photo- and zooplankton, which we then observed in the lab on campus immediately after collecting.
We are excited to see what they will find out. Even though plankton is an integral component of any aquatic food web, there are no recorded studies on plankton in Puʻuloa.
Stay tuned with weekly updates by our students themselves on this blog!!
– Anuschka Faucci, place-based lab manager at LCC